Creating Finn’s Basement Office Space
This is one post I didn’t ever think I was going to write…a post about creating a makeshift home office for my husband. Finn has always worked in an office setting and I didn’t ever see that changing. Well, 2020 has been quite a strange year for everyone and here we are, both working from home and taking care of a baby!
We finished our upstairs home office in March and I enjoyed it for about two weeks until Finn was sent home to work because of the pandemic. I certainly didn’t mind because I was gearing up to have Rory and winding down with work. He modified the space a bit (you can read more about that here) so it functioned well for his daily work.
Once July hit, I was ready to have my office back. “Sorry, Honey but Mama needs a space to work”. Finn was super gracious about it and we decided that the basement would be the best spot for him. It’s cold during these hot summer months; there’s a bathroom down there; and he would have lots of quiet for his endless Zoom meetings. (Our upstairs office is right across the hall from Rory’s nursery, so things sometimes got a tad loud and we didn’t want to disturb her naps.) It was settled! Finn was moving on down to the basement.
The Basement – Eek
The only problem? Well, our basement isn’t the nicest spot in the house. It’s the one area of our home that we haven’t touched at all. The walls need to be painted; the carpet needs replacing; and the entire space needs a realllllly good deep clean, (Whoa, spiders!) We are very grateful that it is a finished basement and that the ceilings are high enough for Finn to walk under, barely. (He is 6’2″ and when we were looking at homes, we saw lots of houses where he couldn’t even step foot in the basement because the ceilings were so low!) We always said it would be a 2021 project to redo this space and turn it into a nice playroom for Rory, but here we are, doing our best to turn it into a basement office for Finn to use right now.
Creating a Basement Office
While we still have plans to paint and replace the carpet, etc., for now, we just gave the space a really good clean, had an exterminator come visit (cya, spiders!), and added office furniture so Finn could get right to work. This certainly isn’t the most glamorous or Instagram-worthy makeover I’ve ever tackled, but it’s definitely functional and practical!
On one side of the room, we still have our exercise equipment (this rower, this bench, and these weights) and a TV to use when we’re working out. But on the other side, Finn has quite a cute little desk setup.
He ended up buying this desk from Amazon and we debated lots of places to put it. In the end, he decided he didn’t want his back to the door so this is its final resting spot. I like the L-shape because he has those huge monitors in one area but he can still use the left portion of the desk for his notebook, snacks, and more. And it even has a little cubby for some secret storage.
Finn is the kinda guy who does tons of research before buying anything, so it took him a while to decide on all of these gadgets he has for his basement office. So if you need some new items as you create your own office, you can rest assured that these ones are working for him and have been thoroughly researched.
While I just use my laptop, Finn needs two big monitors for his work and he uses this HDMI splitter to spread his laptop across the two screens. He decided to mount them on this crazy arm thing so he has more room on the desk. He attached this monitor arm directly to the top of the desk so it holds the monitors up.
Because his back faces the windows, he wasn’t looking his best for his video calls. (Isn’t it funny how looking good for video conferences is now such a big part of life these days?!) So, he ended up buying this webcam and this light to brighten up his face. It actually works really well!
Finn and I are not big fans of the cords that come from the electronics. Finn did a great job corraling them and keeping them neatly tucked under there.
Making It Cozy
Even though we have carpet down here, the basement office was still begging for a rug! This rug ended up adding some color, life, and warmth to the entire space! Plus, it defines the area and adds even more comfort underfoot. And when Rory comes down here to hang with daddy she doesn’t have to lay on our gross carpet.
We ended up buying this rug in a 9×12 size. It is massive and takes up such a good portion of the basement. It’s the same brand as our living room rug, so I knew I would like it.
Lighting is another way to cozy up a space. While we have overhead cans, we realized that the space could also benefit from some task lighting. I actually ended up getting this floor lamp for Rory’s nursery, but we didn’t have space for it in her room. I’m so happy that it works well down here. It casts the prettiest soft glow at night when Finn is working late.
Finn did all of the accessorizing down here, so I can’t take any credit! He bought this plant at Home Depot when we were there buying wood for our DIY window box and he said he wanted it for his basement office. He also added our favorite smell, this reed diffuser from Anthropologie. (I’m obsessed with the candles in this scent.) My dad actually got Finn the cute little “Best Dad Ever” plaque for Father’s Day, so it lives down here on his desk.
On the other wall, Finn mounted our large dry erase board. This is usually filled with work tasks and other house to-do’s. We both love a good to-do list.
Basement Office – Sources
Rug // Desk // Office Chair // Lamp // Web Cam // Monitors // Monitor Mount // Footrest // Clip on Light // Pen Holder // Desk Pad // Wireless Keyboard & Mouse // HDMI Splitter // Plant (Home Depot) // Sonos Speaker // Reed Diffuser // Dry Erase Board //
To be honest, we’re not really sure when Finn will head back to his office. There were plans to open back up in August, but those are now on hold. I think there is so much uncertainty for everyone right now, so until then, we’re happy he is safe and able to get work done from his new basement office.
I told him that I would build him some shelves above the desk. I think this could be a cute little spot for a few plants and more of his office items. Plus, you may have noticed that our outlets are in the middle of the wall down here (wth??), so I think this could be an interesting way to camouflage that one that is hanging out near his desk and bugging me. I am hoping to get those shelves done by the end of the month, so stay tuned for that.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.